The balance had shifted again.

She never knew when or how it would happen.  Sometimes, she was unable to even recognise the tipping point.  Sometimes, though, she recognised it instantly.  Even as it sent her on that familiar downward flight – spiralling lower and inexorably lower.  And sometimes, occasionally, she even saw it coming.

This time, she didn’t see it.  It had come on slowly.  By the time she had noticed the pannier marked “SLB” descending, its dense and interminable contents dragging it earthwards, it was already too late.    Not that she’d have been able to do anything about it, but hey…  it would’a been nice to know, at least.  Y’know?

She felt backwards in time.  The empty conflagration had been growing for weeks, this time.  Fuelled by every pointless and avoidable fuck-up, every bad decision, every…  Every everything.  No matter which direction she looked, the grey Nothing grew and swallowed – leeching colour from her world.

Pushing her hands to either side, she tried to defend herself from its onslaught.  To no avail.  She knew it to be a futile gesture since, in her deepest heart of hearts, she knew she deserved it.  She was one with the Nothing.  She was nothing.

Curling into a tight, hollow ball, she could not even summon the rainbow shimmer of tears to fill her, bridge the gap between here and there, pull herself back, anchor her in her life.

She tightened the ball of her limbs and torso, her only defence against herself; rocking, whispering over and over, “I want to go home.”